ARNOLD, Mo. (KMOX) – Prosecutors in Arnold have amended the charges against a man who admitted to squeezing, spanking, and shaking his 18-month-old daughter who then later died.

Prosecutors said the abuse caused retinal hemorrhages, severe head injuries, and multiple bruises.

21-year-old Jamell Johnson admitted to the abuse which took place at their apartment on Crosswinds Drive in Arnold Sunday. Aliyah McFarland was first taken to St. Anthony’s Medical Center and then to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital where she was pronounced dead Monday afternoon.

Those charges were upgraded Tuesday to first-degree child abuse and first-degree endangering the welfare of a child. Jefferson County prosecutor Forrest Wegge says the amended child abuse charge is punishable by up to life in prison. Johnson is held in the Jefferson County Jail on $100,000 cash-only bond.

Aliyah McFarland’s mother was away during the abuse.


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